Atul Gawande’s book Being Mortal: Medicine and What Matters in the End was one of our favorites of 2014, and this month, PBS is airing a documentary based on it. In his book — and in the interview we did with him back in October — Gawande tackles the topics many of us would rather not talk about, like aging, death, and end-of-life care.
Even doctors become uncomfortable when their jobs require them to broach these subjects with their patients, Gawande says in the trailer for the film. “We’re afraid of talking to the patient about these problems as well,” he says. “A lot of doctors feel like, I know how to have this conversation; I know exactly what I’m doing — but what I knew, what I could see over and over again, was that we weren’t particularly good at handling people going through the last phase of their lives.”
See a sneak peek of the Frontline special here, which airs on PBS next Tuesday, February 10.